Matthew Weiner is notoriously reticent about revealing ANYTHING about Mad Men, to the point that all of the promos for season five have used old footage. This means we're absolutely, completely in the dark about the new season, and THAT means that people start combing over every piece of promotional stuff released.
Like the picture above, which seems like a regular cast shot, but for some reason contains a Life Magazine from 1954. March of 54, to be precise. The new season likely happens in 1967 or 68, so the magazine is way out of date. Why is it there?
Slashfilm speculates that the season will feature flashbacks to the mid-50s, which makes some sense. The show has done flashbacks before, when revealing Don Draper's secret origin. But maybe the magazine hints not at a return to the 50s but rather something from the 50s echoing in the modern day. So I did some research.
Rita Moreno doesn't offer much by way of clues for 67 or 68, but knowing that the Life Magazine issue was for March 1 maybe offers clues. March of 1954 was pretty important in two ways that would echo majorly in the late 60s: the first hydrogen bomb was exploded at Bikini Atoll on March 1st, 1954, and the French war in Vietnam saw its last major battle, a staggering loss that led to the French leaving the country. Which led to the United States coming in, something Dwight Eisenhower had warned against just weeks before the March 1st Life would have hit stands.
The bomb and Vietnam both loom large over the late 60s. But wait, there's more! Doing some deductive reasoning based on actress Kiernan Shipka and cues in the show, it's not unlikely that Sally Draper was born in 1954. She may even have been conceived in March of 54, as some speculation has her being born late 54 or early 1955. There's something that feels right about this, about Sally being as explosive and difficult as the bomb and Vietnam. And if Slashfilm's speculation about flashbacks are right, I bet we're flashing back to Sally's birth or just before - actress January Jones was pregnant while filming this season.
That all makes some sense to me. How about you?